Date of Award

Fall 1998

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Sanchoy K. Das

Second Advisor

R. S. Sodhi

Third Advisor

George Hanna Abdou

Abstract

The concepts of environmentally friendly manufacturing and ecological reuse of materials have resulted in an increase in the number of disposed products that are disassembled. Moreover, the imposition of EPA regulations is forcing companies to invest in methods for protecting the environrnent. The first strategy in this vein is material recycling. The issue of recycling became important because of the limited landfill space, diminishing natural resources, environmental pollution due to dumping of products containing hazardous materials. Likewise, it is projected that the cost of extracting materials from natural resources is going to be much more expensive when compared to reclaiming materials from disposed products.

The above issues bring to light a new concept called demanufacturing. Demanufactuing includes product disassembly, part reuse and remanufacturing and material recycling. Originally the presence of precious metals in the products made companies to opt for recycling, but the present industry feels that it is possible to have demanufactruing for all product types. In order to recycle or reuse the product one has to perform the operation of disassembly to see what components can be reused and which can be sent for either recycling or disposal. In addition, one has to check the components that are going to disposal for their hazardous nature. Hence the concept of disassembly is very important when recycling is the opted choice.

Today, industries are trying to implement disassembly lines at their sites similar to that of assembly lines. Before disassembling, one has to consider the cost of disassembly as there is no definite science or technology available when compared to that of assembly. So the issue of cost of disassembly is making the industry develop some tools which help them quantify the operation of disassembly.

Keeping the above issues in concern, this research focuses on developing the theory related to disassembly processes similar to that of assembly processes. The different disassembly processes that are dealt with in this research are Adhesive separation, Chemical dissolution, Cutting, Crushing, Shearing, Shredding and Smelting. These processes are similar to the conventional processes used in the manufacturing industry though the difference lies in the manner the product is handled and the tools required for disassembly in demanufacturing industry. All the above processes are based on some metrics, which will help in evaluating or calculating the disassembly effort. The different metrics that are used in effort estimation are time of disassembly, tools required for disassembly, force (machine/human), accessibility, fixture, any instructions necessary before starting disassembly and risk factor involved with getting hurt (hazard) while the disassembly operation is being performed. The other contribution of the research consists of the development of a generic software tool, which would help to deal with strategic points of focus and also the termination of disassembly operation to maximize revenue.

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